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August 2013 Technology and Disability Policy Highlights

In August, the FCC issued a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise the rules for Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service ( IP CTS); addressing improper practices.  The new rules prohibit IP CTS providers from providing financial incentives or awards to entice customers to register for the service, while also requiring all new and existing IP CTS customers to provide proof of eligibility. In the FNPRM, the FCC asked for comments concerning the appropriate method for calculating IP CTS compensation rates and the creation of a centralized registration and verification process for users.

Relating to the ADA the Department of Justice reached an agreement with the town of Fort Morgan, Colorado requiring the city to remediate accessibility barriers, which includes ensuring all employment policies align with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulation, and ensuring the accessibility of sidewalks and emergency management procedures.

The Department of Labor released two new rules revising Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) to enhance employment opportunities for people with disabilities and veterans.  The new rules apply to federal contractors and establish a hiring goal of 7 percent of employees with disabilities and the creation of hiring benchmarks for protected veterans.  In addition, the new rules require contractors to document the number of applicants with disabilities and identify veterans, while also requiring contractors to “invite applicants to self-identify” as either protected veterans or people with disabilities.

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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.